Incorrigible: “(of a person or their tendencies) not able to be corrected, improved, or reformed.” Webster and his dictionary may know this to be true, but when it comes to the healthy dental hygiene of your children…. “Incorrigible” can be stopped at the door when proper oral habits are taught at a young age. The sooner kids learn the importance of having a healthy mouth, the better off they are down the road of teenage and adult years. This can make or break the dazzling smile of any toothy-little kidlet in this world.
A healthy smile can have a positive (or negative) effect on anyone who is sauntering through this life, trying to find happiness with the rest of the human population. Self confidence is part of the human experience and knowing that when you flash your pearly whites to loved ones and to strangers, it can be a delightful thing for all involved and can also play a big part in your overall health and wellbeing.
Having healthy smile starts at a young age. And the most important part of having a healthy mouth is building good oral hygiene habits. Parents play a critical role in creating those habits, but getting kids to brush and floss can be a challenge. Not to worry, here are a few helpful tips and guidelines to make sure your child learns at an early age how to take care of their mouth.
Let’s start with importance of early dental visits
As soon as your child starts getting baby teeth is when you should start bringing them into our office for their first dental visit. Baby teeth are saving the place for adult teeth, so taking care of them early will ensure that their teeth are growing properly. Bringing your child in when they are young will also help them feel less anxious for dental visits later in life.
So how do we teach our youngins the importance of good oral hygiene?
Think back to when you were a kid, before the onslaught of adult responsibility tarnished your fun and fancy-free attitude. The only thing that children are worried about is making themselves happy through make believe, fantasy, and good old fashioned fun. But someone who spends the day dressed as a pirate is usually only thinking about swashbuckling and not if they brushed and flossed properly. You can use this to your advantage.
Play into your child’s (and your own) imagination for the good of creating habits that will benefit them throughout their whole life. Turning what some might view as a chore into a fun game, is the best way to reach the mind of a child. Such as:
- Let your child pick out their own toothbrush and toothpaste. Having their favorite cartoon characters on them makes brushing more fun
- Teach them to brush for a full two minutes by finding a song they like that they can play while they brush. This lets them know when they have brushed the proper amount of time
- Make a goal chart and give them fun rewards when they reach their goals, such as: small toys or taking them to a movie
- Lead by example. Make sure they see that you brush and floss everyday. Your kids will follow your dental routine
- Have them brush with you or brush and floss as a family
They say that it only takes 21 days in a row of doing something to make it a habit. Get a calendar and put a gold star, or whatever their favorite sticker may be, on each day that they hit their goal. Brushing and flossing will just be a part of your kids daily routine in no time.